A Detroit man was charged Friday in connection with the shooting of two gay men who were contacted through Grindr.
The Wayne County prosecutor’s office alleges that 26-year-old Demetris Nelson used the online hookup/dating app on July 6 to track down the men before fatally shooting 31-year-old Brian Anderson and critically wounding 26-year-old Malcolm Drake.
Prosecutors say Nelson targeted the men because they were gay.
“The allegations are that social media contacts were used to target, contact, rob, fatally shoot one gay man, and seriously wound another gay man,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. “To some, this will be just another hateful and violent act in America. They will read about this case and continue to go about their day. To me, that is quite tragic.”
The case was assigned to Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz of the Fair Michigan Justice Project (FMJP) through a project aims to help Michigan law enforcement officers and prosecutors solve crimes against LGBTQ individuals.
“We are saddened and outraged by this despicable crime. This case is just the most recent example of how members of Detroit’s LGBTQ community are too often targets of violence,” Fair Michigan Foundation President Alanna Maguire said in a statement.
Nelson has been charged with numerous felonies, including first-degree murder and four firearm counts. He is expected to appear in court on July 26.